Radio Cookie Recipes

These old time radio cookie recipes were quite popular back in the 1940s and 1950s. Housewives would listen to their favorite programs and diligently write the recipes given over the airwaves.

I always knew to be quiet while Mom sat at the kitchen table with her pencil in hand, waiting for the daily recipe broadcast to begin.

Radio recipes tended to be simple with few ingredients and a short series of steps, but the results were delicious. Now, you can experience the golden days of old time radio cooking shows!

Old Time Radio Cookie Recipes

stuffed-vanilla-oatmeal-cookiesBanana Oatmeal Cookies Stuffed With Vanilla
(Source: © MSPhotographic/
Mary Lee TaylorM.L. Taylor

Here is Old Time Radio at its best. The Mary Lee Taylor Program was the most popular radio cooking show in North American kitchens. The broadcasts ran for 20 years on up to 200 stations, beginning in 1933.

Listeners followed the soap opera story of a young married couple in the first half of the program, followed by Mary Lee Taylor and her PET® Evaporated Milk recipes in the second half.

The Miss Taylor character was played by Miss. Erma Perham Proetz (1891-1944), a noted promotional executive, copywriter, and broadcaster.

Stuffed Vanilla Wafers Recipe

The Mary Lee Taylor Radio Program BannerEnjoy the Mary Lee Taylor Program
(PD Source: Deliciously Yours)

Get your sharpened pencil ready and listen to an old time radio broadcast of the Mary Lee Taylor Program. In this episode, Miss Taylor demonstrates how to make her recipe for Stuffed Vanilla Wafers with a creamy marshmallow filling, a delicious easy-to-make treat the entire family will love.

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Radio announcer: "Good morning. Once again John Cole has the pleasure of announcing that another Mary Lee Taylor radio demonstration is underway..."

First broadcast on September 21st, 1939. (11:54 min.)

The entire radio cookie recipe for Stuffed Vanilla Wafers is presented below to save you from having to write it out:

Mary Lee Taylor says, "The stuffed vanilla wafers with their creamy yellow filling, bristling with coconut, have a come-hither look."

Evaporated Milk

To substitute 1 cup evaporated milk, use 1 cup heavy cream, or gently simmer 2-1/4 cups whole milk in a saucepan until reduced to 1 cup.


2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup PET® Evaporated Milk
16 marshmallows (4 ounces)
1-1/2 cups (4 ounces) shredded coconut (optional)
6 ounces vanilla wafers (36 at 2-inch diameter)


Melt over boiling water 2 tablespoons butter, blend in 2 tablespoons flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt, stir in slowly 1/2 cup PET® milk.

Cook until thick and smooth, stirring constantly, then add 16 marshmallows, continue cooking while stirring until marshmallows are melted.

Remove from heat and fold in 1-1/2 cups shredded coconut (optional). Cool thoroughly.

Spread on flat side of 18 vanilla wafers, cover with 18 vanilla wafers putting flat sides of wafers next to filling. Makes ample for six (servings). Filling enough for 24 Graham crackers, if substituted for wafers.

Tip: Any favorite cookie may be substituted for wafers.

Additional tips are given in the recorded program, so be sure to listen closely. Also, the program's listeners sometimes sent in additional tips similar to the suggestions submitted below.


After you have made the Stuffed Vanilla Wafers melt a small bag of chocolate chips in a saucepan over boiling water.

Dip the stuffed vanilla wafers into the chocolate and place on cooling rack placed on a cookie sheet. Allow time for cooling, then drizzle white melted chocolate on the chocolate-covered wafers to decorate. They are so decadent!

Alternative Fillings:

Instead of coconut, use 1-1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts. Or, use 1-1/2 cups mini chocolate chips, or milk chocolate chips, or whatever you fancy.

In fact, if you would like a truly flavorful filling, you can use 1/2 cup coconut, 1/2 cup chopped nuts, and 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips for a bigger bang for your taste buds.

My Grandmother always said anything tastes better with chocolate. I am sure that she would have liked how I've made these changes.

—Jackie, USA

Vanilla Wafers

Nilla Wafer BoxNilla® Wafers

Vanilla wafers are small (1 1/2 inch), light, crispy-thin, vanilla-flavored cookies also known as Nilla® Wafers. They are marketed by Nabisco in the U.S. and Christie in Canada.

You can substitute vanilla wafers with any small sugar, butter, or shortbread cookies (especially homemade), if vanilla wafers are unavailable in local food stores.

Old Time Radio Cookie Recipes

by Mary Lee Taylor (c.1940s)

Banana Oatmeal CookiesEnjoy Homemade Banana Oatmeal Cookies
(Source: ©xo4uvkino/

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

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This old time radio cookie recipe makes about 4 dozen banana oatmeal drop cookies that are especially good when filled with the Mary Lee Taylor marshmallow wafer filling featured above.

1. Turn on oven and set at 400°F (hot).

2. Sift together onto piece of paper 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

3. Put into 2-quart bowl 1/2 cup soft shortening.

4. Mix in gradually 3/4 cup sugar.

5. Beat in 1 egg.

6. Stir in about 1/3 of flour mixture.

7. Then stir in about 1/2 of a mixture of 3 tablespoons PET® Evaporated Milk and 1/2 cup mashed banana.

8. Stir in half of rest of flour mixture. Stir in rest of milk mixture. Add the flour mixture that is left and mix well.

9. Mix in 2 cups uncooked rolled oats (quick cooking kind).

10. Drop by teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie pan. Bake near center of oven 10 minutes, or until light brown. Remove from pan at once. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Cinnamon Bars

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This old time Radio cookie recipe makes about 21 delicious cinnamon bars.

Grandma's Tip

To ensure the nut mixture sticks to the bars, spread the egg white to the very edges of the batter. Then sprinkle the nut mixture evenly to cover the whole top.

1. Turn on oven and set at 350°F (moderate).

2. Grease well 9-inch square cake pan.

3. Sift together onto piece of waxed paper 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

4. Mix in a 2 or 3-quart bowl until light and fluffy 1/3 cup soft shortening and 2/3 cup brown sugar.

5. Add and beat hard one egg yolk.

6. Stir in 1/2 of flour mixture.

7. Then add a mixture of 1/3 cup PET® Evaporated Milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

8. Stir in rest of flour mixture. Spread in greased pan.

9. Beat with a fork just until foamy 1 egg white.

10. Spread carefully over top of batter in pan.

11. Sprinkle over beaten egg white a mixture of 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 cup finely cut nuts.

12. Bake near center of oven 30 minutes, or until cake pulls from sides of pan. Cut into 3 x 1-1/4-inch bars while warm. Let cool in pan.

Banana Coconut Cookie

Banana Coconut CookiesHomemade Banana Coconut Cookies
(Source: Deliciously Yours by Mary Lee Taylor)
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Make this old time radio cookie recipe and watch the youngsters go crazy for these yummy treats!


1. Turn on oven and set at 375°F (high moderate).

2. Mix in a 2-quart bowl 1-1/2 cups biscuit-mix, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup PET® Evaporated Milk, 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana, and 1/4 cup melted shortening.

4. Then stir in 1 cup canned, flaked coconut.

5. With 2 teaspoons, drop mixture about 2 inches apart onto a greased and floured cookie pan. Bake near center of oven 10 minutes, or until light brown.

Take from pan at once and cool on a wire cake rack or folded towel. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Graham Squares

Chocolate Graham SquaresHomemade Chocolate Graham Squares
(Source: Deliciously Yours by Mary Lee Taylor)
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This old fashioned Radio Cookie Recipe makes about 2 dozen yummy chocolate graham squares.

Folks like these bar cookies better than candy!

1. Turn on oven and set at 350°F (moderate).

2. Mix well in 2-quart bowl 1-1/4 cups fine graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup PET® Evaporated Milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, 1/2 cup broken nuts, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

3. Spread in a well-greased 8-inch square baking pan.

4. Bake near center of oven for 30 minutes, or until cake pulls from sides of pan. Take from oven and cool. Store covered in pan.

These squares will stay moist for several days. Cut into 1-1/2-inch squares as needed.

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